Mark Twain: God's Fool

Mark Twain: God's Fool

by Hamlin Hill


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After laughing their way through his classic and beloved depictions of nineteenth-century American life, few readers would suspect that Mark Twain’s last years were anything but happy and joyful. They would be wrong. Contrary to the myth perpetrated by his literary executors Twain ended his life as a frustrated writer plagued by paranoia. He suffered personal tragedies, got involved in questionable business ventures, and was a demanding and controlling father and husband.  As Mark Twain: God’s Fool demonstrates, the difficult circumstances of Twain’s personal life make his humorous output all the more surprising and admirable.  

 “Ham[lin] Hill remains among the smartest, most honest, and most humane of Twain scholars—and . . . God’s Fool parades those qualities on every page.”   Jeff Steinbrink, Franklin & Marshall College

“Fills a great, long-standing need for a thoroughly researched book about Mark Twain’s twilight years. . . . Splendidly, grippingly written and excellently documented. . . . Likely to be a standard work for as long as anyone can foresee.”   Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226336473
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/15/2010
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Hamlin Hill (1931–2002) taught at the University of New Mexico, the University of Chicago, and Texas A&M University, where he led the Department of English until 1989. He is the author and editor of many volumes, several of which center on Mark Twain, Twain’s work, and American humor.

Table of Contents


I. INDIAN SUMMER (1900 to Summer 1904)

II. GOTTERDAMMERUNG (Summer 1904 to Summer 1907)

III. THE DERELICT (Summer 1907 to 1910)

Epilogue: The Last Voyage

Source Notes

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